Learning Responsibility is a Lifelong Process

Learning responsibility is an ever widening and lifelong process.

As thinking, acting human beings we have the ability to choose our response to events, people and circumstances. We do not become responsible when we mature; we mature when we become responsible.

Psychologists teach that the only reasons people are ever motivated or moved to action is to gain a reward or avoid a penalty. As you teach this principal to the children in your charge be sure to explain what they will gain or lose by the choices they make.

ME: I am in charge of those things that directly affect me as a person.

Examples are:

Grooming, nutrition, exercise, education, choosing friends, a mate or a career. My choices might irritate or disappoint others but the consequences will ultimately hurt only me.

YOU: My actions in this circle affect those I love and care about. I want you to like and approve of me, so I am motivated to do what will please you. I have a responsibility to those who work or live with me to do the things I say I will, accept blame when I am wrong, make restitution, be co-operative, care for my possessions and safeguard other people's resources. Consequences have a ripple effect on those around me and will affect my daily life.

US: The community within 10 miles of wherever I am standing determines us. Some people and organizations I know, some I don't know yet, but they are a part of my extended neighborhood. This is the place to practice random acts of kindness, courtesy and service. We are each the representative of the groups we belong to; family, teenagers, school, soccer team etc. The whole may be judged and influenced by our individual actions and role model. The reward may come later in life in the form of recommendations, job offers, networking and a stronger more vibrant community.

The Universe: I have a responsibility to the universal family of humankind to make the world a better place. I need to be a part of the solution of preserving the earth, eliminating bigotry, giving service, and treating others, as I would like to be treated. The Universe may never give me a tangible reward, but I will gain an inner reward of doing right and making good choices for the higher good of all. I recognize that I have a responsibility to not only have positive actions, but thoughts, words and intentions towards others and to act with dignity, respect and love. As parents and leaders we need to give children the opportunity to be responsible as early as possible. Teach the concept of a pause button in order to stop, think and choose before acting. Whenever they are allowed to have a voice and a choice, they will grow up knowing that they have the power to guide the outcome of their life and contribute to the well being of the group.

This handout© 2003 has been prepared by Judy H. Wright, Missoula, MT parent educator and author. You may have permission to make copies for other parents and teachers but the entire article, including the signature line, must be included. A complete list of parenting books, aids, workshops and a FREE ezine is available at www.ArtichokePress.com. To contact us, please write judywright@artichokepress.com or call 406-549-9813.

A New Idea For Kids Party Parties: Hiring A Caricaturist Can Make Your Kids Party A Real Blast!

There's a new trend for party entertainment. It seems as though Caricature art is the... Read More

Confident Kids : Why Some Parents Should Carry a Health Warning

As a hypnotherapist, I am acutely aware of the power of words. A few well-chosen... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Bottom Line Issues

Q. When you consult with a family with teens, what are the typical bottom-line issues?A.... Read More

How To Use Positive Child Discipline

I am a single mother of a 17 year old boy. He has turned out... Read More

What Might Surprise You About Childhood Obesity

The formula is pretty straightforward: energy in/energy out. This is the term nutritionists use to... Read More

Assertiveness: Key to Better Parenting

I have always been aware of my number one weakness: non-assertiveness. But I have come... Read More

Advising Teens? Getting Your Point Across

Giving advice to a teenager is very easy; getting a teenager to take that advice... Read More

Sanity Savers For Busy Mums Page

Question 1 "How do I get more time to play?" Answer: Schedule it in. Why?... Read More

Income that PAYS Your Child Support WITHOUT Increasing Your Child Support

Child support is defined as that part of your income you would spend on your... Read More

Influencing Adolescents - Guided Democracy

You need to smart to be able influence adolescents. You need to be able to... Read More

Adoption: Laughter and Tears

If you ever walk through an orphanage, it will be an experience you'll never forget.... Read More

Surviving As A Single Parent: Seven Simple Suggestions To Make Your Life Easier

1 - Forgive even if you will never be able to Forget -Let go of... Read More

Five Tips for Successful Grandparenting

1. Boundaries are necessary for control and safety.All children need and must learn to respect... Read More

Is There Any Real Use For A Fun Quiz?

Q. I don't like my children spending so much time on the computer and playing... Read More

Bad Boys/Good Boys (Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Being An Insensitive Dad)

I WAS AMAZEDI could hardly believe what I was hearing. A father and his son... Read More

The Financially Intelligent Parent: 8 Steps to Raising Successful, Generous, Responsible Children

What you say and do about money has a profound influence on your child. There... Read More

A Little Love, Please?

Article based on a friend's experienceI just wanted to share an experience I just had... Read More

Managing Your Stepfamily

If you are a member of a stepfamily, you know how difficult it can be... Read More

Raise Your Child to Be a Leader Not a Follower

Your child's leadership skills begin at the family dinner table. In this day of working... Read More

Your Checking Account

Checking accounts are an absolute necessity these days. You can either have a checking account... Read More

Can Mineral Deficiencies Lead to Behavioral Problems in Children?

A while ago I received this story from David in England, who wrote: I... Read More

ADHD Treatment: Strategy and Philosophy

If your child or teen has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder during the... Read More

Friendships - Helping Children Develop Friendship Skills

Reasearch into children's friendships shows that those children who are able to form friendships when... Read More

Grandparents! Help Your Grandkids Do Math!

This may come as a surprise.But despite all the advances in education, many kids still... Read More

Are Public Schools Anti-Parent?

Some public schools try to turn children against their parents with scary classroom stories or... Read More

Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

The biggest trick some child predators' are using these days is to pretend to be... Read More

Boundaries - Why Theyre Needed

Imagine a child who lacks ownership of his own life, has noself-control, and lacks respect... Read More

How Do You Find the Best Car Seat to Protect Your Child

Choosing a good car seat for your child's protection is a prime consideration for any... Read More

Lead with Love:How Mothers Can Use Their Greatest Strength to Manage Around Their Technical Weakness

My wife and I have been working on a video scrapbook for our son now... Read More

Defrazzle with a Hearty Guffaw

"The best blush to use is laughter: It put roses in your cheeks and in... Read More

You Dont Need a Supernanny to Be an Active Parent

The hot new reality TV show "Nanny 911" has been joined by a similar nanny-to-the-rescue... Read More

Pick Your Fights With Your Teenager Wisely

I know as a single parent or even with 2 parents, it is hard raising... Read More

War Declared On Instant Messenger: How to Stop Your Child from Wasting Their Life Away Online

Hey Parents! I hate to tell you, but there is no such thing as "useful... Read More

Maximizing Your ADHD Childs Performance in School.

As a parent there are lots of things that you can do to help your... Read More

Patterns For Plus Size Children

Plus size children and overweight children need patterns and clothing that fit THEIR "larger than... Read More

What is Incest?

Incest is sexual activity, ranging from fondling to intercourse, between family members who aren't married... Read More

EEG Biofeedback Training as a Treatment Option for ADHD

The popularity of EEG Biofeedback Training continues to grow both in the USA and around... Read More

Its a Sick World

It's no joy to be sick. It's even less joy when your child is sick.... Read More

Teaching Your Children About the Value of Money

We take it for granted that children know how money gets into our wallets. The... Read More

Effective Troubled Teen Programs

Not all parents subscribe to the notion of "tough love," which is used so extensively... Read More

Winning The Whining War

Jason Meridith's two-year old son whines when he wants more juice. Brenda Kreuger's eight-year old... Read More

Raising Boys

The last decade has seen heightened interest in and awareness of the issues surrounding boys... Read More

The Different Types, or Styles, of ADHD

Research literature, recent books, and common sense, all point... Read More

Why A Father Is Not A Dad

It can be said that any man who procreates is a father, whether present in... Read More

Why Fathers Are Such a Necessary Component in the Raising of Their Children.

The first year of a child's life is the most crucial time for Dad's to... Read More

7 Ways to Know Your Child

How well do you really know your child?There is so much information at our fingertips... Read More

Top 20 Items To Pack In A Diaper Bag

1. Diapers (5 -7 is a fairly safe supply)2. Wipes3. Cream (like Desitin, A&D ointment,... Read More

To Test or Not To Test - That Is the Question

Little Suzy has really been having a hard time getting some of her assignments done.... Read More

Kids, Chores & More

Are you a frustrated parent who sometimes finds it is easier to take the garbage... Read More

15 Ways to Help Kids Like Themselves

1. Tell me something you like about yourself? Help your child to focus on her... Read More